04-12-18 NFU: Farm Organizations Band Together to Protect Loan Funding for Beginning Farmers

NFU: Farm Organizations Band Together to Protect Loan Funding for Beginning Farmers 

On Tuesday, National Farmers Union joined a broad coalition of farm organizations and agricultural lenders to urge Congress to protect loan funding for beginning farmers in the Farm Bill.

In particular, the coalition is concerned about a proposal to increase Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan limits. Though the proposal’s intention is to provide better support to farmers during sustained low commodity prices, it would have the unintended consequence of making FSA loans less available to new and socially disadvantaged farmers, who often don’t have alternative credit options. This is because the move would likely lead to larger – and thus fewer – FSA loans, which are generally only allocated to large and established operations. That, in turn, would make it more difficult for smaller and newer farmers to access loans.
In lieu of the proposal, the coalition suggested that increasing total funding for FSA loans would be a better method to address the financial hardships that farmers and ranchers are currently enduring.